This week’s catholic dialogue column for the Prairie Messenger is titled Vatican II gift is progress in ecumenical movement. It’s a reflection on the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Rather than bemoaning the divisions in our Christian family, we should rejoice all that unites us.
I am old enough to remember the “good old days” before the documents of Vatican II were put into practice. Those were the days of catechism lessons about salvation being found only in the Catholic Church. We weren’t allowed to attend a Protestant service without special permission. The movement towards a more ecumenical and inter-religious spirit was one of the greatest gifts given to us by the Council Fathers.
The needs of today’s world demands that we enter into true dialogue with women and men of all faiths, and no faith. The sins and weaknesses of our church forces us to embrace a spirit of humility. It also forces us to seek the core of our belief, the truth that is never changing.
Through dialogue, we can share the gift of this truth and be nourished by the gifts of others. In this mutual interchange, we can seek and find common ground in our shared beliefs and good works.
The mentality of Catholic Triumphalism deserves to be left behind in the dust with other out-dated understandings of our faith. The progress that has been made in the ecumenical movement is reason to rejoice. Of course we must continue to pray for a deepening of unity among all Christians, but we mustn’t forget to include a prayer of thanksgiving.